Motorsports

Saturday, May 25 2013 11:04 PM

Mayhew sweeps Late Model features at county raceway

  1. 1 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park On the restart after a spinout on lap 20 of the first Late Model main, David Mayhew (17) got a jump on first place runner Eric Richardson and cruised to the win from that point.

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  2. 2 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park A turn 4 spinout by Paul Ebersbacher forced race leader Eric Richardson (44) and second place runner David Mayhew (17), to drop low to avoid contact. Mayhew took the lead on the restart and never looked back.

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  3. 3 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park David Mayhew (17) and Eric Richardson were running side-by-side for the first half of the first Late Model Main, with Richardson in the lead, until a caution flag. Mayhew took the lead on the restart and cruised the rest of the way.

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  4. 4 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park Eric Richardson (left) and race winner David Mayhew kid with each other a little during their post race interviews Saturday night. Mayhew won the first Late Model main, Richardson was second.

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  5. 5 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park Workers handed out free t-shirts from the Raceway and Coca-Cola before the racing got underway Saturday night.

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  6. 6 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park Fans got an opportunity to get down on the track Saturday and check out the cars and mingle with the drivers. Here Michael Crowe gets his picture taken next to a vintage Jeep by his mom, Cassi.

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  7. 7 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park Dave Spaulding waits next to the car that will be driven by his son, Kiel Spaulding, during the Late Models races Saturday.

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  8. 8 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park Tyler Bannister raises his fist in triumph after winning the first main in the Bandalero division Saturday night.

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  9. 9 of 9

    By John Harte / The Californian

    An evening's racing at Kern County Raceway Park David Mayhew (17), Eric Richardson (44) and Brian Richardson would run first, second and third throughout most of the first Late model main Saturday, and would finish in that order.

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BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian

If one exciting victory wasn't enough, David Mayhew pulled out a second thriller to close out racing at Kern County Raceway Park on Saturday night.

The Bakersfield driver swept dual 35-lap CITGO Lubricants Late Model features on the half-mile track, edging Eric Richardson each time.

Mayhew and Richardson had the 2,500 fans in attendance on the edge of their seats as they battled it out with Brian Richardson for victory in the second Late Model feature.

Brian Richardson led all but the first two laps before Mayhew muscled his way to lead coming out of turn four coming to the checkered flag.

"You can't ask for better racing than that," Mayhew said. "That was amazing."

While Eric Richardson followed Mayhew on the low line to the finish, Brian Richardson, running one groove higher, hit the outside wall fighting to hold onto to the lead.

That impact did considerable damage to Richardson’s car but he was able to hold onto for third place.

“I was trying hold to those guys off and me and Mayhew were beating and banging,” Brian Richardson said. “I got to the center of three and just matted it. The car just got tight and by the time I got out of the gas I was already in the fence. That was my only chance at winning the race.”

The last lap was the only one in which Mayhew led. He started sixth.

Mayhew was up to second place by the time a lap 31 caution setup the race’s dramatic conclusion.

“The longer we ran, those guys kept getting a little bit tighter and a little bit tighter,” Mayhew said. “ ... There before the caution, I had kind of wrote it off and rode around in third. I thought those guys had it figured it out. The caution let the tires cool off and the car came alive."

Donny St. Ours was fourth and Kiel Spaulding took fifth.

Mayhew won a tough battle with Eric Richardson to win the first 35-lap Late Model feature.

The two drivers raced door-to-door for most of the first 20 laps, trading the lead four times.

Mayhew finally wrestled away the top position, powering to the inside past Eric Richardson in turn one on a lap 21 restart.

“The track has come in awesome for these late models,” Mayhew said. “You can have two-wide racing lap after lap. There was a little beating and banging but both of us gave plenty of room when we needed it.”

Eric Richardson, the leader prior to the caution, chose to start on the outside.

“It was just nice to get a clean start,” Mayhew said. “Down into one I thought I could get a run. ... A restart is what we needed and it worked out this time.”

Eric Richardson led 18 of the race’s laps. Mayhew led 17.

“That was fun,” Eric Richardson said. “I got schooled on a couple of restarts. I thought since we were racing so well up on the top side, I’d be able to start like that.”

Eric Richardson finished second. Brian Richardson took third, followed by Spaulding and Kevin Callahan.

Both Late Model features counted equal in points value.

Earlier in the evening, Mayhew won the 6-lap Late Model Trophy Dash.

“The track is still a little bit loose up top,” Mayhew said immediately after the race. “As long as young can keep your car right on the bottom, I think you’ll have a good night. We just have to hope we can keep this thing, when the sun goes down, acting like it is right now.”

St. Ours, pulling double-duty, led wire-to-wire in winning the 35-lap Legends feature.

The win capped off a big night for St. Ours, who also claimed victory in the Legends Trophy Dash and the division’s lone heat race. He held off his younger brother, Jonathan St. Ours, for all three wins.

Buddy Shepherd finished third in the feature followed Johnny White and Brett Edwards.

“We had a good car,” Donny St. Ours said. “A lot of cautions there. I saw my brother and Buddy right behind me. I knew it was going to be a good race. I overshot turn one that one time my brother got underneath me. ... I shut the door and luckily he backed out.”

The elder St. Ours said he enjoyed racing against his brother.

“I saw him coming there toward the end in the heat race and in the Trophy Dash,” Donny St. Ours said. “It’s good racing with him. I know he’ll race me clean.”

Tyler Bannister dominated the Bandoleros feature. The Bakersfield driver went from eighth on the starting grid to the lead in just three laps en route to a second straight main event victory.

Bannister led 28 of the race’s  30 laps. He had never raced in a Bandolero prior to last week.

Trenton Sparks finished second. Ryan Vargas was third, followed by Karson Sylvester  and Tony Lamas.

“The track was better was than last week,” Bannister said. “It was more sticky.”

Top-qualifier Ricky Lewis III was involved in a wreck on lap No. 17 that ended his night.

“The 32 (Trenton Sparks) got into me,” Lewis said. “He was probably upset because we were rubbing in (turns) one and two.”

Vargas out-battled Bannister to win the Bandoleros four-lap Trophy Dash.

“(Bannister) is really really fast and so is Karson (Sylvester),” Vargas said. “These guys are the best of the best. It’s pretty crazy that I actually came out on top.”

Midway through the night’s racing action, a male fan in attendance suffered an apparent heart attack. He was treated first by California High Patrol officers on patrol at the event. A few minutes later the Hall Ambulance paramedics stationed in the track’s infield got to him. They loaded the man, who was awake and moving, on a gurney and transported him to a local hospital.

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